Things been going good, why the wrench???

Its funny, things have been going good lately. Examples:

  • I am employed, am good at my job, and enjoy it – good
  • The wife and I are getting more healthy everyday – good
  • I have a loving family – good
  • Hosting a poker game tomorrow evening – good
  • We’re going on our cruise in September – good
  • We’ve had a great summer and have some good times as a family – good
  • I have a wedding/Mehndi photo shoot this week – good
  • My Sentra doesn’t require emissions this year – good
  • I’m planning on replacing my Sentra with a Mustang sometime around Jan/Feb- good
  • My Sentra needs it’s inspection before September and needs the exhaust replaced for about $900 – FUCK!

If I was planning on keeping the Sentra for years it probably wouldn’t bother me, but I’m actively planning on getting rid of this car and then it decides to have problems – after not having any issues for years!  The A/C has been broke this summer, but I figured I’d wait it out – but now, I might as well get it fixed after the cruise so I can hopefully get a reasonable amount for it when I do sell it.

I am very happy though.  In the past, this would have completely crippled us.  Instead, I’m just not getting to put away as much money as I was planning to save.  So, I choose to look at this as an affirmation that we’re doing things right and moving on the right path.

Less than 5 to go and updates

I was very happy when I put on that red shirt this week.  Not only does it fit comfortably, but for the first time, my chest is extending past my belly!  WOOT!

According to the scale this morning, I’m only 4 lbs away from my 50 lbs initial goal – AWESOME!  After I hit the 50 lbs goal I’m going to shoot for 30 more.

We’ve removed the couches from our basement and made space to workout and do some Yoga.  Also, a friend who’s moving sold us her elliptical machine, which will help a lot.

Here’s the pics of our new workout space.

The space is perfect.  We now have space to move around and the TV is positioned perfectly for Netflix and long workouts on the elliptical.

The wife is continuing to make awesome low calorie meals and making great progress herself.  It’s all very exciting!

Oh, and I got two 27″ computer screens, which allows me to free up the 32″ TV for use in my arcade.  Check out my new setup for my desk – so pretty  :-)

NOTE: The picture doesn’t do the screens justice because the desk is so large.

IMG_2191

I kicked ass at free poker last night, which is great for the lead-up to my poker party here at the house in two weeks.

I need to get a good side-by-side before and after picture soon of my fitness progress🙂  Unfortunately, most of my pictures have me behind the lens vs. in front of it  :-/

 

Very proud of my little guy :-)

Background

Guns have always been around in my family.  My dad and grandparents have had multiple rifles and handguns while I grew up and I never had the desire to play with them.  I never attempted to play with them.  Why?  Because my parents, and my parent’s parents taught them about the proper use and safety when using or around guns.

When I was about my son’s age my dad took me out near a large piece of property than my grandparents owned over a little wooden bridge he taught me how to shoot his .22 Marlin Model 60 rifle.  He told me about how to be safe with the it and how a gun should be treated and used.  He then threw little objects into the creek below for me to shoot at.  I remember being very proud of myself when I would hit the targets as they would flow downstream in the creek.

Again, he taught us to not be afraid of guns.  Instead, we were taught the proper uses for a gun and the proper handling of guns.  Most importantly we were taught to be respectful and responsible when handling or being around guns.

A couple years ago, I let my dad know that I would like to be willed the .22 and the 308 because I have very happy memories of him and I with those two items.  He already had another .22 so he gave me the one I shot when I was younger.  The only problem, it is very dirty and the spring action is broken and needs repair because it will jam every 5 or so shots.  My dad has been able to occasionally fix the spring but it’s not been truly repaired.  So, I decided I’ll ask my Facebook friend who sells guns and may know how to fix the problem.  So I reached out on Facebook and he asked me for the specific model number of the gun.

This Week

So my son and I were working on getting the video game systems ready to be moved to his room from the basement and I see a response from my friend asking about the model number of the gun.  I get up and start to go to the utility room (where I store the rifle) and he asks me where I’m going.  I tell him simply that, “I’m going to get my gun”.

As I come out of the utility room I notice him freaking out slightly and already up the stairs.  I laugh a little bit and call him back downstairs.  I show him how I was handling the gun and making sure not to point it towards anyone.  I told him that an unloaded gun (after verified to be unloaded) is basically a big stick.  We discussed the following points

  • Always act like a gun is loaded, even if you know it’s unloaded
  • Never point a gun at another person or ANYTHING you do not intend to shoot
  • Never put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to have a bullet come out
  • Immediately after picking the gun up, you make sure it’s unloaded and nothing chambered.
  • Always make sure the safety is on (after I explained the safety to him)
  • Never look in or put your face or other body parts in front of the barrel.  Even though it sounds obvious, it must be said.
  • ALWAYS treat a gun with the utmost respect and responsibility

We had other scenario discussions and he understood what I meant.  I then explained to him how my dad had taught me to shoot that same gun.  I let him know that pretty soon him and I would go out and I would teach him the same thing and that one day, if he chooses, he’d be able to do the same thing with his son or daughter.  He got a little excited at that idea.

So we went over the safety and handling topics one more time and I thought I’d ask him a simple question to test his newly acquired knowledge.

I asked him, “what is most dangerous about a gun?”

… at this point I was hoping for a response similar to, it’s most dangerous when it’s not treated with respect and responsibility, when you’ve assumed it’s unloaded and it is actually loaded, when you forget to turn the safety on.  Instead, I was floored.

My 9-year old’s response was, “A gun is not dangerous, the person who has the gun is dangerous.  If they are mean they might shoot you or do something bad.  The gun won’t shoot you all by itself, that would be silly!”   He started to giggle, and I reminded him that when talking about guns we don’t joke around – at all – he got serious again.  I narrowed the question for him.  This time, I just asked him how should a gun be handled.  His response was perfect – with respect and responsibility.

Very proud of my little guy.

I’ve got to refocus!

So, I’ve not been behaving.  I haven’t gained any weight, but my loss has slowed.  Have I plateaued?   No, I’ve been allowing myself too many indulgences.  I’ve been allowing myself more than the allowed 1 soda a day – need to get back to just 1, and eventually none.  I haven’t been able to play tennis because I can’t find a partner (Jenna’s elbow hurts) – anybody interested?  I also haven’t been doing my workouts at least every other day.  Granted, I’ve had been walking more, but that slowed as well – NEED TO REFOCUS!

On a separate front, I’m going to try to quit smoking again.  Starting tomorrow, I’m going to try to use this quit smoking app and see if it helps.  Hey, an app started me losing weight, it couldn’t hurt to try🙂

IRS sending you to court??? Damn Scammers!

So I just had fun with some asshole scammer.
Robot voice on my line: “Attention call this number to stop IRS action now, please call 651-410-5574”
OH BOY, this will be fun.
So I first hear a strong vietnamese accent – oh boy.
He then asks for my name which for this call was “George Jansen”. Then my address … uh… “27 Smithson Court, 20237”
Scammer: “That was 27 Smith Court?”
me (sounding very convincing): “No, it’s 2 – 7 – Smithson – S-M-I-T-H-S-O-N court”
Scammer: “Oh, okay. One moment sir, while I look up your account”
(Loud fake typing ensues)
After about a minute or two, he comes back and explains to me how they’ve had agents “at my address” leaving me documentation and so forth. I play along and let him keep talking and talking. I keep asking him questions to waste his time. He then asks me if I’d like to take care of the debt with him outside the court.
me:  “well, it’s been a little over 15 minutes, I think I’ve wasted enough of your time for now – you piece of shit scamming fucktard”
scammer: “excuse me sir, please watch your language – what do you mean?”
me: “what fucking country are you calling from anyway? you sound vietnamese?”
scammer: “what do you mean sir, this is the IRS”
me: “I work for the IRS you fucking idiot, how many idiots have you successfully scammed with this bullshit line?”
scammer: “I’m not sure what you mean sir, this is the IRS”
me: “Ok, that’s why you were able to find records for me at my address??? – It’s a fucking fake name and fake address you fucking idiot.  So, how many fucking idiots fall for this shit?”
scammer: “80% of America”
me: “again, what country are you even from?”
scammer: “Nigeria”
me: “Oh, are you going to call me back because you’re a prince that has been overthrown and you need help to get your money out of the country and it will only take $1000 to clear the money and I’ll be rich”
scammer: (he actually laughed at that one) “Yes, I guess I’ll make that call to”
me: “cause I’m just trying to waste as much of your time as possible so maybe you’ll have less time to scam someone else today”
scammer: “I have all the time in the world”
— WELL FUCK, WHAT DO I TALK ABOUT NOW??? —
me: “so what country are you from anyway, how many stupid people believe you?”
scammer: “a bunch of people do”
me: “How do you sleep at night cheating people out of their hard earned money??? Well, you’re probably from some piece of shit country and are only getting 1 dollar a week or some shit.  You need a job that pays you better.”
scammer: “well, you voted for Obama didn’t you?” (I’M NOT KIDDING!)
me: “No, not me personally, I think he’s a asshole. The stupid people falling for your scam probably voted for him though”
scammer: (again he thought that was funny) “we get a lot of them”.
me: “Ok, you’re an asshole for stealing people’s money from my point of view, but you’re just doing your job.  I hope you little success in scamming people, but take it easy”.
scammer: “You have a good day, sir”
me: “You too Prince, talk to ya soon”
scammer: (little giggle) – CLICK
I don’t have hard feelings towards the guy.  If I was stupid enough to fall for this shit, I’d probably feel differently.  I also understand that this douche bag is just doing his job.  I don’t know his circumstances that allows him to feel no remorse about ripping off people, but hopefully a guy calling him out, but still making him laugh might make him think about it next time…
Who the fuck am I kidding?, that guy’s a prick.
If you get these people calling you, CALL THEM BACK!  — give fake information, play along as long as possible.  If everyone did this it wouldn’t be worth it for them to run these scams!!!

41 down – 9 to go!

So, I jumped on the scale the other day and was pleasantly surprised.  I’ve lost 41 lbs!!!  Only 9 pounds left until my initial goal!  HOLY CRAP!  I was originally thinking it would be impossible to lose 50 lbs in a year, and I’ve already lost 41 lbs in about 3 months!

My plan is to hit my goal, and then evaluate a new goal.  Another 50 would probably be too much, mostly because I don’t know what I should weight.  I’ve always carried a lot of muscle weight and even when I was fit and VERY lean I was 225 lbs.  Perhaps 30 lbs?  Keep a maintainable weight of 200 lbs?  We’ll see.

Hopefully, this Pokemon Go! will help keep my step count up:-/

It’s funny Pokemon Go is nothing new, it’s called geocaching and people have been doing it for ages.

The cruise is paid for!!! – and general update

Over the last couple years, the wife and I have been working on improving our lives and it shows.

We’ve been on one cruise together.  It was just her and I and we had planned on going in 2009.  However, we continually had issues getting the money together and kept having to bump the cruise to the next year.  We were still living paycheck-to-paycheck and had to shift money around constantly to make sure the bills got paid.  Our credit was horrible, we weren’t saving anything, and we had a number of outstanding debts where we’d constantly receive mail and phone calls.  We’d sometimes have to reschedule dinner with family friends because we simply couldn’t afford to go out that night.  We were finally able to go on our cruise in April of 2013.

We’ve learned how to manage our money and have paid all our outstanding debts.  However, I now get phone calls from debt collectors looking for family members and more mail from people wanting to loan me money.  Do we own our own house yet?  Sadly, no, but we’re planning to after our children are out of Elementary school (the school is too amazing to risk them being elsewhere).  The wife has a new truck and I’m planning on getting a new car at the beginning of next year (not just a new car, but the ‘what I want to get’ car) – something that was impossible to imagine less than five years ago.

Last year around November, I called my travel agent (Maria – Passages Travel @ (540) 636-1402, let her know I sent you) and scheduled a trip for September 2016. I didn’t make my first payment until sometime in April when we got back our tax return.  Then, I made a plan to pay it off in time.  Unfortunately, I didn’t keep to my schedule 100% and had to make some larger lump sum payments near the end.  BUT I DID IT!  The most surprising part is that it didn’t cause a huge strain on us to do so, because I make my plans so conservatively now.  We actually get to go on the date we planned and not have to bump the cruise a year.  Plus, this time we’re going with kids and my mother-in-law.  In 2009, we were unable to go as planned with just two people in one cabin, now we’re on time with five people in two cabins!  WTF!!!   So now, I’m watching Lonely Island’s “On a boat” and getting very excited for our cruise.

In other news, I’m continuing to prep the software side of my arcade machine and beginning to make plans for the build.  The kids are excited to help built the machine and I’m thinking of putting in shelves in the front to hold the video game systems from the basement.  Basically, this arcade machine will be an arcade/entertainment system all-in-one.  That will free up the space under the mounted TV in the basement and clean-up the look of the room overall.  Very exciting! (I really enjoy when things are neat and tidy)

Lastly, I received probably one of the nicest compliments the other day.  I was out at free poker and I recognized a woman that I hadn’t seen since HS.  When, I asked her if she was the same person that I knew in HS she said that it was in fact her and said “Yes, Chuckie, it’s me from drama” and followed up with, “you look the exact same as last time I saw you” – HOLY CRAP that’s awesome!  I told her it was good that she didn’t see me a couple months ago then because I’d been working to lose weight.  :-D   The very next day, I went to a restaurant for lunch and the host hadn’t seen me in months.  He immediately told me I look good and I’d obviously lost weight.  AWESOME!

So, all in all, everything has been going well and I’ll continue to work hard and do what I can to continually improve our lives.  I’m very blessed to have a job that I love doing work that I love.  I’m very blessed to have a wonderful family.  I’m very blessed to finally be motivated to improve my health and I’m very blessed to have the friends that I have in my life.

Gotta keep this momentum going!

 

UPDATE – and I forgot to mention that I was online yesterday and I saw Phantom of the Opera was going to playing at the Kennedy Center and I decided to get tickets because the wife and I wanted to see that show and wanted someday to get dressed up and see an opera at the Kennedy Center (it will be my first in-person Opera).  Again, something I previously would have had to plan far in advance.  I surprised her by saying nothing and just posting it to her Facebook account.  :-)